|Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
||James Cruze, standing,
and Harry Benham are featured in a dramatic scene from DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, released
January 16, 1912 (From The Moving Picture World, January 13, 1912)
(One reel of approximately
1,000 feet, January 16, 1912)
Based on the Thomas Russell Sullivan stage adaptation (with
romantic story added) for Richard Mansfield, of the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Directed by Lucius Henderson.
Print source: Blackhawk Films, 11 minutes,
Cruze (Jekyll/Hyde), Harry Benham (Hyde in several
scenes), Florence LaBadie (his sweetheart), Marie Eline (little girl knocked down by Hyde).
Original organ score composed and performed by musician
James Cruze featured as Jekyll/Hyde in
this second U.S. film version of the classic novel by Robert Lewis
This famous tale, made even more sensational by
Mansfield's stage performance, was filmed in at least nine silent versions. Thanhouser's
was the second U. S. film version, after
Selig in 1908, but was the first based on the
stage adaptation. (see this Wikipedia entry on
Adaptations of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.)
The Thanhouser version downplays the horror element in
favor of the thematic conflict between the good and evil sides of one personality. Perhaps
unique among all Jekyll/Hyde adaptations is using two actors to portray the two aspects of
the same character. The credits list James Cruze in both parts, but
Harry Benham played
the crazed Hyde in several scenes, simplifying production. Transformation trickery was
done with careful cuts and quick in-camera dissolves with no changes in lighting.
Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc.
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